Composition, structure and function of the eukaryotic flagellum distal tip

Essays Biochem. 2018 Dec 7;62(6):815-828. doi: 10.1042/EBC20180032. Print 2018 Dec 7.


Cilia and flagella are long extensions commonly found on the surface of eukaryotic cells. In fact, most human cells have a flagellum, and failure to correctly form cilia leads to a spectrum of diseases gathered under the name 'ciliopathies'. The cilium distal tip is where it grows and signals. Yet, out of the flagellar regions, the distal tip is probably the least intensively studied. In this review, we will summarise the current knowledge on the diverse flagellar tip structures, the dynamicity and signalling that occurs here and the proteins localising to this important cellular region.

Keywords: cilia; electron microscopy; flagella; microtubule; signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cilia / chemistry*
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • Flagella / chemistry*
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / physiology*